Microsoft Shows Off Windows 8.1 Update 1

As expected, Microsoft showed off Windows 8.1 Update 1 today at its Build developer conference. The raft of tweaks and new features for Microsoft’s premier platform are built to help the operating system better interact with traditional inputs.

The update will begin to roll out via Windows Update on April 8th.

Microsoft made a large, serious bet with Windows 8 on touch, dragging Windows into the world of more diverse inputs. Along the way, however, the venerable keyboard and mouse fell by the wayside in terms of ascendancy.

Also as leaked and covered, Update 1 changes how Windows 8.1 handles booting: If your device isn’t a touch-focused unit, the operating system will boot to desktop. A minor, if welcome tweak.

Other user interface changes such as pinning Metro apps to the desktop taskbar and improvements to the process of closing apps are as expected. We’ll have more later on the substance of those changes.

Internet Explorer 11 will receive an update that will include support for a legacy line of business applications.

Windows 8.1 Update 1 was broadly leaked via a simple registry tweak earlier this year, making its feature set anything but surprising. Still, everything has to have a day zero, and that’s today for Update 1.